April 22, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Colby Lewis (48) pitches in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

Colby Lewis, Rangers Face Most Important Challenge Of Season

Don’t look now. The Rangers are only 5.5 games ahead of the Los Angeles Angels as an average May allowed the Angels to get into striking distance. A win in this series and that gap will drop below 5 games. A sweep and it gets below 3. And it just so happens that the Rangers are coming off of their worst two performances of the year. What great timing, right?

When teams have must-win games, they turn to their ace, their number one starter. While Yu Darvish is probably the holder of that title right now, Colby Lewis was the one that started opening day and carries that distinction. He needs to be the stopper. He needs to send a message to the Angels, to his team and not let the Angels get any closer.

Lewis does have something on his side. He has held current Angels to a .197 average (25/127) so if he gets more of the same, that will bode well for him and the Rangers. The only Angels to be over .300 against him are Peter Bourjos (who is not starting tonight’s game) at 5/16 (.313) and Mark Trumbo (who is) at 4/10 (.400) with a HR but 3 strikeouts.

On the other side, the Rangers are 29/66 (.439) against tonight’s Angels starter Jerome Williams. Nelson Cruz, who has swung a hot bad lately is the leader at 5/6 with 2 HR and a walk. Josh Hamilton is 2/3 with both of his hits being homeruns.

So, probably the most important game for the Rangers so far this season takes place in about two hours and with a new month starting, hopefully they can shake off the up and down performances they had with the month of May and get back to their April form.

Tonight’s lineups (courtesy BaseballPress.com)
June 1, 9:05 CST

Texas (31-20, 1st AL West)
Ian Kinsler, 2B
Elvis Andrus, SS
Josh Hamilton, CF
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Michael Young, DH
David Murphy, LF
Nelson Cruz, RF
Mike Napoli, C
Mitch Moreland, 1B
P: Colby Lewis, RHP (4-3, 3.58 ERA, 4.61 FIP)

Angels (26-26, 2nd AL West 5.5 GB)
Mike Trout, CF
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Albert Pujols, 1B
Kendrys Morales, DH
Mark Trumbo, LF
Torii Hunter, RF
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Erick Aybar, SS
John Hester, C
P: Jerome Williams, RHP (5-2, 3.81 ERA, 4.08 FIP)

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Tags: Colby Lewis Los Angeles Angels Texas Rangers

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